Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Right, let's see how bad I am at writing a short post...

          It was one of those amazing days - bright, sunshiny, green, fresh - everything screamed life!  What an amazing day to be alive on!  Flowers, birds, hustle, bustle, everything.  And it struck me, just how amazing life is, qua life.  It honestly is eternal - it never ends!  Yes, individual things come and go, live then die, but life itself does not stop just because one living thing ceases to live.  Now, I've never really made a study of evolution, but from what I understand it is all about life, the perpetuation of the species.  So this particular being has died, but in a sense it is still living in its offspring, in the generations follow.  From a simply materialistic point of view, this is a pretty amazing concept.  But, add to it a bit of the supernatural, and this idea is overwhelming.  For those who believe in the eternal life of the soul, there never will be non-life.  While the simply-naturals will argue that the end of the world will bring about a complete and total end to life, for to those who believe in the supernatural, life will never end!  Life is more than just the animation of matter, Life is God Himself!  Some creatures (non-rational beings) participate in the life of God in a temporary and temporal way; some (rational material beings) in a temporal and eternal way; others (rational immaterial beings) in an eternal way.  Though the material world may have an end, Life does not.  Life continues; Life endures.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Now Picture This...

           Alright, so my last post wasn't the most positive.  Considering it was written on the heels of a rather black mood, that makes sense.  Perhaps still a bit shocking from a person who understands what this whole pregnancy thing is all about, and is really quite glad that all this annoyance means that, God willing, I will have a baby to hold, love, etc., in October.  But, if a pro-lifer such as I, who wanted to conceive and is happy to be expecting, could wish that I didn't have to go through this, just imagine how horrible it is for someone who didn't and isn't:
          Go back and read my Rant Against Pregnancy, and try and picture emotionally what I was kinda going through.  Got it?  Right, now let's add this to your plate - not only are you feeling slightly miserable physically, but you realize your period is kinda late.  Like, late in an "Oh, fudge, this can't really be..." kinda way.  So you take a test....results, positive.  Now, not only are you feeling like junk physically, but your psychological and emotional states are beginning to crumble.  Maybe you thought you were "protected", maybe you thought you were just immune - I mean, it hasn't happened before, right?  This so cannot be real.  
          What is your b.f. gonna say?  You haven't ever discussed this before, but you kinda have the feeling he won't be pleased, and there is a chance he will leave you, with the attitude of "It's your problem, you can deal with it.  Obviously something you did/didn't do went wrong".  The first doubts begin to enter your mind, brought on by the fear of judgement and rejection.  "It's all my fault...he's gonna leave me...I can't do this!"
          "My parents!"  At this thought, new panic begins to enter your mind.  "How will I ever tell them?"  You already know their position on unwed pregnancy, and those "little sluts who can't keep their legs closed."  Or perhaps your parents are more the type who started you on birth control when you were a teen, to prevent this sort of thing from happening - either way, you've gone and failed them, too.  Will they kick you out, disown you?  Where would you go?  
          Thoughts of judgement and rejection fill you with panic, you are emotionally a mess, and physically feel like junk.  You can't think straight, and feel like you have no where to turn - who can you trust?  All those close to you seem as sources of judgment and rejection, pain and loneliness.  You just want to make this go away, to have things as they were, to restore equilibrium.  There is a pro-life crisis pregnancy center in town, but you know how those pro-lifers are, all concerned about saving babies, and not so much concerned with the women who are carrying them.  To them, it is the baby who is in a crisis situation, and they couldn't possible hear or understand what you are going through, or how you are feeling.  Mentioning to them how you just want a way to make things right again, to make this go away, might as well be like telling a P.E.T.A. representative that you enjoy beating and drowning puppies and kittens for fun.  
          Maybe you've never really given much thought to abortion before, but then again, you've never really been in a situation like this before.  But you have heard that the people over at the clinic actually listen to the women who come to them, and want to help them.  You have heard that they will focus on you, and what your needs are here and now.  You know abortion ends pregnancy, which means your physical symptoms will go away too, and after spending so much time feeling sick, that is quite an appealing thought.  Your b.f. and parents will never even have to know about that test you took...everything will stay as it is.  
          Perhaps you believe that all abortion is doing is removing a bunch of cells; perhaps you believe that abortion ends a potential life; perhaps you believe that it actually kills a baby.  But you can't do this pregnancy thing on your own - everywhere you look, you find rejection and judgment, everywhere but the clinic.  You are so emotionally, physically, and psychologically drained, that you simply can not process rationally what is going on.  All you know is you are alone, and the only seeming light of hope is the abortion clinic.  So you go, and don't tell anyone.  
(If you think I'm exaggerating this, go and read the testimonials at Abort73.com.  I dare you.)

          Many women contemplating abortion are in a similar situation to the one I described.  It is hard to try and put ourselves in their shoes, especially when we "know" so well that abortion is wrong, evil, etc.  But unless we can understand what is motivating these women to flock to abortion as an answer, we are never going to win the war against abortion.  To tell a woman in such a situation that she will be a murderer if she has an abortion only serves to add to her feelings of rejection and being judged, and does nothing to help her see that it isn't the only option.  Forgetting the women in our desire to save babies actually hurts and sends more to their deaths than it actually saves.  Yes, abortion is an evil that needs to disappear, but if we do not have the support in our hearts and communities that these women need, they will always turn to abortion.  Not only do we need to support women in crisis pregnancies, but also those who have chosen abortion as their way out.  Condemning and judging them in no way helps them heal, and only adds to the guilt and pain many are afraid to admit resulted from their decision to terminate their pregnancy.  We cannot possibly hope to change minds and hearts if we do not seek to understand where the other is coming from.  The most effective slogans against abortion are "Abortion hurts women" and "Abortion ruins lives" rather than "Abortion kills babies" and "If it's not a baby, you're not pregnant". 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Now I've Done It: Rant Against...Pregnancy

          So Mother's Day is just around the corner, and this year I get to be one of the women celebrated.  A nice idea, except on Monday I had a slight emotional breakdown because of this stinkin' pregnancy thing.  Yes, I said it, and in a very real sense I mean it.  I am so done being pregnant, and yes, I am still less than halfway there.
          It was all fun and exciting in the beginning, and I mean the very beginning, like the first month, maybe, that we knew.  But swearing ourselves to secrecy kinda killed much of the novelty and my excitement.  Add in morning sickness, and BAM!  First thoughts of "I sure as heck don't like this whole pregnancy thing, and it can totally be October now." (See My First 1st Trimester for some insight.)  Ugh.  Now that I'm not feeling sick, I'm freaking out because I'm not sure I'm eating enough (at 18 weeks I've barely gained any weight).  I'm beginning to look fat, am going to the beach in about a week, and don't have anything to wear (I could wear my old bathing suite, but then I'd be "that girl" who doesn't realize how horrible she looks with her rolls hanging out).  I could actually feel said tummy jiggling - jiggling! - at soccer this week and my performance absolutely stinks cause I'm more afraid of the ball now than I have been in, like, forever.  My brain seems to have decided to quit functioning properly, and trying to come to a decision about anything quite honestly leaves me rather confused.  Feeling the baby is more like experiencing weird huge gas bubbles than the butterflies everyone mentioned (honestly not a very pleasant experience for me, see here if you haven't already).  I find it frustrating to be treated with kid gloves all the time.  I'm tired of being asked how things are going, and trying to match the excitement and enthusiasm pretty much everyone else seems to be experiencing (I'm not really a terribly excitable person - I live in the present, and this is just how things are, why should I be so freaking excited all the time?).  I'm fatigued all the time, and feel like I'm not even doing a fair job at keeping the apartment running.  Oh, and did I mention that I'm too fat for my normal clothes, but not fat enough to warrant obtaining maternity clothes, while at the same time freaking out because I don't think I'm eating right?  Yeah, I guess that just about covers it - I just can't take the stressing anymore, and am so done with this pregnancy thing.  
          Now, I know the above might cause some, um, strong reactions in some people, but at the moment I don't really care.  That was what I was feeling, and have been feeling for a little while.  Not that I don't want this baby, because I really do, but I'm tired of things being constantly portrayed as super crazy bright and sunshiny, and if you express anything to the contrary then may fire and brimstone rain down on you.  I know conception and gestation are miracles, and greatly amazing ones at that, but pregnancy isn't always rainbows and butterflies.  I'm sick and tired of "the bright side of things" obscuring and ofttimes replacing reality.  Not that we have to be all dark and gloomy all the time.  *eyeroll*  But sometimes a healthy dose of reality is more readily accepted and a better antidote to some things than annoying, healthy, wholesome sunshine. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Real Margaret Sanger

          The following is part one of a research paper written by my sister, and I am posting it here with her full permission.  It is a bit long and parenthetically notated, but quite informative. For the second half, see The Real Margaret Sanger, Cont'd.  Her own words are found in the second part.  

          Margaret Sanger is heralded today as a hero for the women's rights movement in the early 1900's. She has been accredited to have fought fearlessly for a woman's right to be in control of her own reproductive health through the use of artificial birth control.  But was that really her reason for trying to make the use of birth control legal?  Could her mission have really been more about trying to control the population of those she deemed "unfit" than her trying to fight for the rights of women to use birth control?
          She was born Margaret Louise Higgins, one of eleven children, to Michael and Anne Higgins on September 14, 1879.  After attending Claverack College and Hudson River Institute, Sanger started the nursing program at White Plains Hospital and graduated from there in 1902 (A and E Television Networks).  She married William Sanger shortly after and had 3 children in Hastings, N.Y.  In 1910 her family moved into the City.  Even though their marriage ended in divorce she kept his last name of Sanger (A and E Television Networks).  
          Her work toward making birth control legal started in 1912 when she started a column in the New York Call called "What Every Girl Should Know."  And in 1913 she began publishing her monthly periodical "The Woman Rebel" which often emphasized a "woman's right to access birth control" (Witherbee).  By promoting and circulating such material she was in violation of the federal 1873 Comstock law which prohibited the promotion of "obscene" and sexually explicit material (Witherbee).  She was indicted in August 1914, posted bail and fled to Europe (Witherbee).  While in Europe she spent time with social "elites" where she learned of neo-Malthusian thought and readily embraced its ideology.
         Neo-Malthusian is a stance that built off of Thomas Malthus's fear of overpopulation.  Thomas Malthus (1766-1843) was an English clergyman, economist, and demographer who feared the threat of overpopulation if the population did not use more moral restraint in procreation (U of Colorado).  He proposed negative checks, also called moral checks, which included abstinence and waiting longer before marriage.  Through this "individual and moral choice" the threat of overpopulation would be stemmed (U of Colorado).  Neo-Malthusians, however, believe that the world population is in a "state of crisis" and that the overpopulation can only be reversed through the negative checks of artificial birth control, sterilization, and abortion (U of Colorado).  Neo-Malthusians blamed the poorer and lower classes for the overpopulation because of their high birth rates and therefore believed that the negative checks should be used against them.  The poorest communities were usually filled with immigrants, minorities, and the uneducated or under-educated and they were to be targeted to keep them from continuing to procreate, thus removing them from society.
          She came back to New York for trial in 1915 but the prosecutor dropped the charges because of the death of her young daughter.  In 1916 she "opened the country's first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn" and was forced to shut down 9 days later because it was illegal to hand out birth control related material (Witherbee).  In 1917 she started publishing her monthly periodical "Birth Control Review", which often contained eugenic material.  In 1921 she founded the American Birth Control League (ABL) which was eventually renamed Planned Parenthood.
          For the second half of the posting, see The Real Margaret Sanger, Cont'd.  Her own words are featured in the second part.

The Real Margaret Sanger Cont'd.

         The following is the continuance of a research paper written by my sister, and I am posting it here with her full permission.  It is a bit long and parenthetically notated, but quite informative.  For the first part see The Real Margaret Sanger

          In a speech titled "A Plan For Peace", published in the April 1932 issue of Birth Control Review, Sanger proposed a federal United States "Population Congress" be appointed to control the births of those society has no need for (Sanger, "Plan" 11). Their tasks would include keeping "the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens" (Sanger, "Plan" 11).  Those she wished to keep out included those whom it was known were "detrimental to the race" like the "feeble-minded" (Sanger, "Plan" 11).  Her definition of "feeble-minded" included, but was not limited to, those who are epileptic, those who have a family history of crime, the uneducated, and the poor as a whole (Sanger, "Plan" 11).  She also wanted the "Population Congress" to "apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring" (Sanger, "Plan" 11).  She also suggested "pensioning" the "feeble-minded" if they agreed to submit to being sterilized (Sanger, "Plan" 12).  Sanger wished to "corral" the "illiterates, paupers, unemployables, prostitutes, dope-fiends" into work farms where they would work for life or until they are found acceptable to be in the normal population (Sanger, "Plan" 12).  In the October 1921 issue Sanger discussed Birth Control propaganda and wrote "the campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of eugenics" (American Medicine, "Eugenic Value" 5).  She went on to say that the "most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective" (American Medicine, "Eugenic Value" 5).  In the same issue she lamented the fact that the "dysgenic (those with bad genes) breeding" could not be "magically eliminated" and stated that "drastic methods" should be "forced on society" if the "chaotic breeding" was allowed to continue (American Medicine, "Eugenic Value" 5).  The May 1919 issue of the Birth Control Review, of which she was editor, published an article entitled "Intelligent or Unintelligent Birth Control", which stated, quite bluntly, "More children from the fit, less from the unfit - that is the chief purpose of Birth Control" (Sanger, "Intelligent" 12).  In the October 1926 issue of the Birth Control Review Sanger discussed the lower birth rate of the "intelligent" compared to the ignorant and how she thought the only way to "remedy" the situation is through the sterilization of the latter (Sanger, "Function" 7).  Sanger's intended purpose for birth control was further shown in a heading in the November 1921 issue which literally stated that the use of birth control was to "Create a Race of Thoroughbreds" (Sanger, "Unity" 3).
          In her 1922 book titled "The Pivot of Civilization" Sanger explained the eugenic value of birth control and how it should be used to combat her fear of overpopulation from the "unfit" and poverty stricken classes.  In the chapter titled "The Fertility of the Feeble-minded" she urged all state legislatures to take steps to stop the "reckless and irresponsible procreation" of those "feeble-minded" (Sanger, Pivot 115).  Sanger even cited a statistic from Sir James Chrichton-Brown that showed that less than two-thirds of those born of "feeble-minded" parents grow up to be feeble-minded, leaving over one-third of them to become "profitable members of the community" (Sanger, Pivot 112).  This fact, that being the child of "feeble-minded" parents does not automatically guarantee that they too will be "feeble-minded", did no phase her, however, from her desire to keep all of the "feeble-minded" from ever becoming parents.  As an "emergency measure" Sanger proposed the segregation of feeble-minded women and men to keep them from procreating for two generations as a starting point to keep their numbers from growing, but stated that she would much prefer the "immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded" (Sanger, Pivot 122).  In the chapter "The Cruelty of Charity" she blamed humanitarian and charitable organizations for condoning and facilitating the propagation of those unfit because of their efforts to make the lives of those less fortunate better.  "The very idea of humanitarian and altruism," she wrote, "has produced their full harvest of human waste" (Sanger, Pivot 128).  In the chapter titled "The Dangers of Cradle Competition" Sanger further laid out how the use of birth control and eugenics go hand-in-hand toward the goal of racial purification, happily stating, "Birth Control has been accepted by the most clear thinking and far seeing of the Eugenicists themselves as the most constructive and necessary of the means to racial health" (Sanger, Pivot 187).
          In 1939 Sanger launched the "Negro Project".  The purpose of the project was to pitch birth control exclusively to the African-American community as a means of controlling their numbers.  In an effort to make the idea of birth control seem more palatable she place leaders of the African-American communities in high ranking places in the organization.  On the surface these efforts might seem innocent and well intentioned to give the less fortunate access to birth control, but given her outspoken views listed above is this really the case?  We all know the state of race relations at that time in American history were terrible.  African-Americans were seen as and treated like less than second class citizens and were even segregated.  African-Americans, at that time, were poorer and less educated than whites.  Given her views that the poor and uneducated are "human waste" (Sanger, Pivot 128) why would we think that she wanted to help the African-American community that was already viewed so poorly by society?  The logical conclusion is that she wanted to control, reduce, and erase the African-American community just like the rest of those she deemed "unfit".
          When you analyze her words and actions it is clear that Margaret Sanger is not the warrior for Women's Rights that she is being presented as.  A major reason she fought for birth control was to use it as a means of furthering her own radical agenda of removing all of the people whom she deemed "unfit", "human waste" from society.  Should we sit silently by while today's society tries to sweep Margaret Sanger's true intentions under the rug to be forgotten?  I know I will not be silent and I will not forget.

Works Cited
  • A and E Television Networks.  "Margaret Sanger Biography."  Biography.com.  2012.  Web.  5 Mar. 2012
  • American Medicine.  "Intelligent or Unintelligent Birth Control."  The Birth Control Review May 1919: 12-13.  Print.
  • Sanger, Margaret.  "A Plan for Peace."  The Birth Control Review April 1932: 11-12.  Print.
  • Sanger, Margaret.  "The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda."  The Birth Control Review Oct. 1921: 5.  Print.
  • Sanger, Margaret.  "The Function of Sterilization." The Birth Control Review Oct. 1926: 7.  Print.
  • Sanger, Margaret.  "Unity."  The Birth Control Review Nov. 1921: 3.  Print.
  • University of Colorado.  Valparaiso University GEO 101 World Human Geography Spring 2011 Glossary.  1996-97.  Valpo.edu.  Web. 4 Mar. 2012.
  • Witherbee, Amy.  "Margaret Sanger."  Points of View Reference Center.  2005.  Web.  5 Mar. 2012  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Little Bit of Life in General

          Well, the house we were interested in already had an offer which the seller accepted, so we weren't able to even look at it.  Which is probably a really good thing, lest we got our (read:  my) hopes up too much, only to be severely and horridly crushed against the solid cliffs of reality.  *sigh*  But it was entertaining while it lasted, and more than likely there will be something better in the future.  Hopefully before Baby Chick makes a grand entrance into the world, and my laundry needs explode exponentially.  :)
          My in-laws are in town for a visit this week, the second time the whole family has been together since October, and it is quite nice to be spending time with them.  Nothing reminds me how much I enjoy family life more than spending time with family.  Yes, I have a huge streak of "I could totally be a hermit and live in the middle of nowhere, completely independent (almost) of the outside world", but the path I chose is much better for me in the end.  My hermit life would not admit of any human loves whatsoever.  So, tempting as it may be on some days to mentally travel to such a life, that is not where I belong, and ultimately I would not find the happiness that I am meant for.  Family life is my path to sanctity, and unless I embrace it, there will be no chance of my attaining that which I was made for.  
          I am beginning to look a bit, well, pudgy.  I know that this is a good thing, a natural thing, a baby thing, but um, it is a completely new concept for me.  My metabolism and active life were pretty much all I needed to keep thin, and I never really gave it too much thought.  Yes, I did (and still do) have slight, er, "problem areas", but they never involved "Wow, my waistband is a bit tight...  Hope I can breath alright after I button them."  *sigh*  At 17.5 weeks, I have hit that awkward stage where it just looks like I've got belly bulge, rather than like I've got a baby inside me.  :/  Overall it isn't so bad - it means I get to go out and find a cute bathing suit that covers my gut, as well as other cute clothings which are soon going to be necessary - such as sundresses!  :D  Very excited about that.  Oh, yeah, I guess someone could find a nice lesson in humility in there somewhere if they really tried.  ;)
          I can finally eat again!  One never appreciates the ability to feel hunger until one loses it.  Though it shows up at the most inappropriate times, like 3/4 of the way through a meal.  So now I have to be careful not to overeat...  That wonderful full feeling doesn't show up quite as well as it used to...  I've decided the crock pot and casseroles/pasta salads are my new best friends food-wise here in the second trimester.  It turns out that pregnant women should eat a lot of protein to keep everyone healthy, and pasta actually has a surprising bit of protein in it!  Mostly, the thing I am having trouble with is keeping high-protein foods readily available.  Greek yogurt also has a lot of protein, but I have been craving "real food" a lot lately, and the crock pot and pasta dishes are the way to go.  Make enough for dinner and leftovers, and viola!  Real meal snacks, easy style!  Plus, pasta is really cheap and if cheese and some meat are added, the protein count is really good.  :)  I've heard quiches recommended as a good way to get fast easy protein as well, and that will be my next thing to try.  
          I've also been contemplating myself a bit lately, though my findings will have to be published in another post, as this one seems to be getting quite long, and I'm sure I lost the attention of 3/4 of my readers halfway through.  :)